Adam Hill lobbies SLO Council members

November 10, 2014
Supervisor Adam Hill

Supervisor Adam Hill


The day before San Luis Obispo City Council members are scheduled to make a decision on disciplining Councilman John Ashbaugh for violation of the state’s open meeting law, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill lobbied the council to drop the issue.

On Sunday afternoon, Hill called and emailed council members asking them to accept John Ashbaugh’s apology and to take no further action. Ashbaugh, a political ally of Hill, faces possible censure, condemnation by the council, or an investigation by the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury for violating the Ralph M. Brown Act and disclosing confidential closed session discussions.

“While the whole episode was unfortunate, we all know that in the heat of debate, at times our emotions can get the better of our judgment,” Hill said in the Sunday email to the council. “We are human. We make mistakes. Councilman Ashbaugh has apologized several times for his comment, so please do not blow this out of all proportion.”

Councilman John Ashbaugh

Councilman John Ashbaugh

Following months of lobbying by Hill to have the council override the airport land use commission, the violation and an angry tirade by Ashbaugh appeared to have had the opposite effect, and the override failed. Council members Daniel Carpenter and Kathy Smith voted against the override, which needed four votes to pass.

An override of the airport land use commission would allow for high-density residential development on the south side of town.

One of the projects in the area is developer Gary Grossman’s bid to build high-density housing on the property he has in escrow with rancher Ernie Dalido. A high-density development would be much more profitable for Grossman than the mixture of residential and retail currently approved by a vote of county residents.

Grossman has donated large sums of money to county supervisors Hill and Caren Ray and several city council members who voted in favor of the override.

Both the airport commission and the aeronautical division of CalTrans have hinted at suing the city over the proposed developments because of safety issues. Carpenter, at a public meeting in October, questioned how a vote to override the commission could legally impact the city .

Nevertheless, if the council votes to censor Ashbaugh by forbidding him to vote on the issue, it is unlikely the airport override would garner the votes necessary for passage.

On Nov. 7, San Luis Obispo activist Kevin Rice noticed the council in writing that if it overrides the airport land use commission he plans to mount a challenge via a referendum.

Monday’s council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Ashbaugh’s violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act:

Ashbaugh’s outburst at Council Member Carlyn Christianson:


It’s difficult to figure out who is the bigger idiot here. Dietrich for lecturing her boss in a public forum. Ashbaugh for demonstrating that he can care less what the idiot attorney has to say or Hill for demonstrating his continued arrogance as a demigod?


It is the City’s legal counsel who is charged with keeping them out of legal trouble.

I worked for a local government agency, and their attorney would stop a board member in midsentence to head them off from doing something stupid….in open session. Behind the scenes, the attorney would advise the board on how to legally do what ever shenanigans they wanted to pull off, but in an open-session meeting, he was all about making sure they didn’t do something publicly that would get them, and the agency, in trouble.


Just an aside, I just love the picture you use of Adam Hill… he looks like one of those old Chicago era mob bosses. You can almost hear him say, “Youse peoples need me to ‘plain things to you?”


Adam…just curious, do you happen to own a Bull Dog?


OMG, he DOES have physical features of a bulldog…, but not in a good way.


Reminds me a little of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan goon.

JB Bronson

Adam. The universe does not revolve around you. The law was broken, by a City Councilman who took ethics traiining to prevent this law from being broken.

Remember? You took the same training. We all understand you do business this way, and we understand why it is you are wanting the Council to drop the issue. It’s how Narcissists think. There are rules for you, and then there are rules for the rest of us.

You are just as wrong as Ashbaugh, regardless of whether you understand that or not.


Hey there is Adam in the green outfit…I knew he looked familiar.


Hey, here’s another option. Maybe Ashbaugh can quit and then be replaced with someone who will actually advocate for their constituents?


But our mayor knows how to spell Morro Bay. Learn it.


givemeabreak forgot the n majority.


MF, glad you are in charge of spell check. Perhaps Apple has a job for you.


Really MF? Is that all you have? bahahahahaha


Sorry MF, apparently according to the thumbs up or down more are concerned with the message. Not your grammatical corrections that mean ZIP!


Advocating for constituents is not, unless it is near election time, what Ashbaugh, or most city council members, are there to do.

They believe they know what is best for their constituents and, over time, that knowledge they think they have turns into a money-maker for someone in power.


Love the Adam Hill photo accompanying the article. I guess he is taking the Caren Ray loss pretty bad.


Poor old Ernie Dalidio….

When all is said and done he should have realized that the politicians he had to deal with like Assbaugh would steal the pennies from their dead mothers eyes and could have been bought and paid for with 2-bits like the prostitutes that they are. Grossman knows the score. He owns Hill and Ashbaugh and now non player Ray. Lets hope someone with good intentions and lots of money has paid these prostitutes to do the right thing and censure or at least force Assbaugh to recuse himself on this vote.


Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Poor Caren. I am so disappointed she has learned that even appointments have limits.


Yeah, the voters told her straight-out that her appointment was cancelled.


Looks like the new wifey is a darned good cook too!

Kevin Rice


What do you think about building 1,000+ homes in the airport safety zone? Traffic, pollution, and $$$ in developer pockets who fund politicians?


* Will you help collect signatures? (Must be SLO resident, age 18 or older)

* Can you contribute to pay for printing and other costs?

A political committee has already been established for this effort. The petition is being designed and readied for press. People and contributions will be needed if the city council places this back on the agenda and votes to override the airport safety zone.

Please send an email if you would like to be on the contact list:

Kevin Rice

(805) 602-2616


HI Kevin, I am not a SLO resident, I live in AG, but I would be willing to bet that if you asked CalCoast to assist with this effort in terms of printing opinions, etc, they would. This could be a game changer for SLO and SLO county as well. It is time to put a stop to the corruption and power-grabbing going on!


As Charles Durning’s character Henry Larson says in Home for the Holidays (perhaps the greatest holiday film of all time), “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.”


Easily the greatest holiday film of all time is “A Christmas Story” – there isnt even a close second. In that story Ralphie beats up the bully. Do you support the bullies in this county Majority?


I guess Adam Hill doesn’t yet get it…his brand has been greatly weakened by his hand-pickedTiexiera replacement, Caren Ray, losing in her bid to actually WIN that district’s election.

He would do best by continuing to lay low for awhile before trying to ram his will down the throats of the city council.

Adam Hill reportedly has aspirations for the State Assembly, too, which is going to be a problem for him if he continues to misjudge his power and influence of the position he already hasas a member of the board of supervisors.

By getting such a sound rebuke from the SLO city council, he has actually lessened his power here locally.

And he still probably doesn’t realize that some of the Compton votes were actually no votes against Karen Ray, all because of Adam Hill’s using the power he had as a Supervisor to get Ray appointed to the BOS.

With any luck at all, the power brokers in the state legislatureare aware of this, because being unable to wield power to attain goals good for the party is certainly not what the party needs haunting them in the next election.